Cannes: Interracial Marriage Drama ‘Loving’ Throws Hat in Oscar Ring

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States on 2016-05-16 18:12Z by Steven

Cannes: Interracial Marriage Drama ‘Loving’ Throws Hat in Oscar Ring

The Hollywood Reporter

Gregg Kilday

Director Jeff Nichols and stars Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga make a strong first-impression as their new film about the landmark Supreme Court case is unveiled.

Loving, writer/director Jeff Nichols’ new film about Richard and Mildred Loving — the interracial couple whose 1958 marriage violated Virginia’s anti-miscegenation laws, which were eventually overturned by the Supreme Court’s landmark Loving vs. Virginia ruling in 1967 — held its first press screening Monday morning in Cannes. And it immediately made the case why the film has to be considered one of this year’s first major awards contenders.

Given the material, Nichols could have delivered a standard-issue courtroom drama, culminating with soaring oratory before the nation’s highest court. But he chose to take a different route — the American Civil Liberties Union, agreeing to take on the case, doesn’t enter the picture until more than half-way through the two-hour-three-minute movie. Instead, the film is centered around the Lovings themselves: Richard, played by Australian actor Joel Edgerton, and Mildred, played by the Ethiopia-born Ruth Negga

Read the entire article here.

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2017 Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference Call for Papers

Posted in Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2016-04-30 22:30Z by Steven

2017 Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference Call for Papers

University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California
2017-02-24 through 2017-02-26

Explorations in Trans (gender, gressions, migrations, racial) Fifty Years After Loving v. Virginia

Deadline: 2016-04-30
Notification: 2016-07-31
Presenters at the conference must be members. Registration/membership will be available in 2016. Details below.
Subject Fields: We welcome submissions from scholars from all fields, cultural workers, and activists.

The next major Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference will be held February 24-26, 2017, at University of Southern California and will be hosted by the Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture. The conference will include film screenings and a live performance showcase produced by Mixed Roots Stories.

Download the CMRS 2017 Call For Papers [PDF]

The year 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia, which declared anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional. As a commemoration to Loving’s golden anniversary coupled with the geographic location of California, this conference provides an excellent site to examine critical mixed race issues. With a focus on the root word “Trans” this conference aims to explore interracial encounters relating, but not limited to, transpacific Asian migration, transnational migration from Latin America, transracial adoption, transracial/ethnic identity, interracial marriage from a transregional perspective, the intersections of trans (gendered) and mixed race identity, and mixed race transgressions of race, citizenship, and nation.

The intersections of transmigration/national/regionalism with respect to miscegenation are clear in light of varying marriage proscriptions across geographical regions within the continental United States. California enacted its anti-miscegenation law in 1850, forbidding whites (this category included Mexicans) from marrying blacks, Filipinos, and Asians. Twelve states additionally prohibited intermarriage with Asians, nine prohibited intermarriage with Filipinos, and some prohibited intermarriage with American Indians. Intermarriage with “Hindus” was prohibited in Arizona. Oregon prohibited whites from marrying Native Hawaiians or Kanakas; and Virginia’s anti-miscegenation law forbade intermarriage with anyone of non-Caucasian strain. During Reconstruction, rampant fears of hypersexualized Chinese men marrying white women underscored the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Even following World War II soldiers faced dilemmas as Congress enacted restrictions regarding non-citizen wives entering the U.S that affected the mixed race children of these interracial unions whose occupancy within an interstitial racial space remains a confusing and complex reality in 21st century America. It was not until 1948 that anti-miscegenation laws were abolished in California.

As this conference commemorates the 50th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia with a focus on “Trans” issues relating to interracial encounters, participants from all fields are invited to present new insights, which will contribute to a broader and deeper understanding in Critical Mixed Race Studies

For more information, click here. Additional Questions? Contact us at:

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First Look at Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton in ‘The Loving Story’ (Based on Anti-Miscegenation Case)

Posted in Articles, Arts, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2015-11-23 19:16Z by Steven

First Look at Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton in ‘The Loving Story’ (Based on Anti-Miscegenation Case)

Shadow and Act: On Cinema Of The African Diaspora

Tambay A. Obenson

Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton as Mildred and Richard Loving, on the set of the movie “Loving,” being shot in Richmond, Va. (Ben Rothstein/Big Beach Films via AP)

Three years ago, director Nancy Buirski’s feature documentary, “The Loving Story,” was released. It follows the real-life story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple living in the state of Virginia where interracial coupling was illegal, and their struggles, including the US Supreme Court case named after them – Loving vs Virginia (1967); the landmark civil rights case in which the United States Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, declared Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statute, unconstitutional, overturning existing laws and bringing an official end to all race-based restrictions on marriage in the United States.

Persecuted by a local sheriff, the Lovings were found guilty of violating Virginia’s law against interracial marriage and forced to leave the state. But Mildred Loving chose to fight. She wrote a letter to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy asking for help. He referred her to the ACLU and two young attorneys took the case.

Richard and Mildred Loving

In 1958, they went to Washington, D.C. – where interracial marriage was legal – to get married. But when they returned home, they were arrested, jailed and banished from the state for 25 years for violating the state’s so-called Racial Integrity Act

Read the entire article here.

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Martha S. Jones – “The Children of Loving v. Virginia”

Posted in History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2015-11-22 18:39Z by Steven

Martha S. Jones – “The Children of Loving v. Virginia

Organization of American Historians
September 2015

An OAH Lecture by Martha S. Jones, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor at the University of Michigan

This lecture was presented as part of the Created Equal initiative at Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana, in September 2015. Recorded by the college’s Pulliam Fellow Videographer, Ian Mullen ‘16.

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Movie about Va.’s now-defunct ban on interracial marriage to be shot in state

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2015-05-14 19:42Z by Steven

Movie about Va.’s now-defunct ban on interracial marriage to be shot in state

The Washington Post

Laura Vozzella, Richmond Bureau Reporter

RICHMONDVirginia has landed a movie project about Richard and Mildred Loving, the real-life Virginia couple arrested in 1958 for violating the state’s interracial marriage ban.

The Lovings filed a lawsuit that eventually made its way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 struck down bans on interracial marriage. The case is often invoked today amid legal challenges to bans on same-sex marriage.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) announced on Thursday that makers of the movie had chosen to shoot the project in the state. A statement from his office noted that the court case at the center of the story was “a landmark civil rights case in defense of marriage equality that is still relevant today.”

Loving is a significant American story that should be told, and I am happy to announce it will be filmed in Virginia,” said McAuliffe, who supports same-sex marriage. “Attracting these projects to the Commonwealth helps build the new Virginia economy by generating new revenues, creating good-paying jobs for our citizens and continuing to highlight Virginia’s historical significance.”

The film will star Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton, and will be directed by acclaimed film director Jeff Nichols. It was inspired by “The Loving Story,” a documentary produced and directed by Nancy Buirski that aired on HBO, the governor’s office said…

Read the entire article here.

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Checking Boxes: A close look at mixed-race identity and the law

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Law, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-02-05 21:21Z by Steven

Checking Boxes: A close look at mixed-race identity and the law

Macomb County Leagal News
Mt. Clemens, Michgan

Jenny Whalen, ‎Web Communications Specialist
School of Law
University of Michigan

Professor Martha S. Jones has long struggled with the idea of checking more than one box. Her reluctance to do so has been influenced by a lifetime of changing perceptions about her own identity. Born to an interracial couple a decade before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the legality of such a relationship in Loving v. Virginia, Jones, who co-directs the Program in Race, Law & History at U-M, crossed the color line at birth.

As the featured speaker for Michigan Law’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day lecture last month, Jones reflected on her mixed-race experience to open up an understanding of how legal culture has wrestled with the idea that Americans might check more than one box of racial identity.

“Today I’m going to be asking myself, ‘How does it feel to be a problem?’” Jones said, looking to address the same question contemporaries of W.E.B. Du Bois asked him at the dawn of the 20th century.

For Jones, the answer to this question starts with Loving v. Virginia

Read the entire article here. View Professor Jones’ presentation here.

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The Children of Loving v. Virginia: Living at the Intersection of Law and Mixed-Race Identity

Posted in Census/Demographics, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Law, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2015-01-21 02:27Z by Steven

The Children of Loving v. Virginia: Living at the Intersection of Law and Mixed-Race Identity

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Special Lecture
University of Michigan

Martha S. Jones, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Associate Professor of History
University of Michigan

University of Michigan Law School Prof. Martha S. Jones, who codirects the Program in Race, Law & History​, addresses her own experience as a mixed race woman and explores issues facing contemporary society as the featured speaker at Michigan Law’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration on Jan. 19, 2015.

Presenting “The Children of Loving v. Virginia: Living at the Intersection of Law and Mixed-Race Identity,” Jones uses lived experience to open up an understanding of how legal culture has wrestled with the idea that Americans might check more than one box.

View the video (00:37:05) here.

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Justice Alito’s Dissent in Loving v. Virginia

Posted in Articles, Gay & Lesbian, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2014-12-11 00:40Z by Steven

Justice Alito’s Dissent in Loving v. Virginia

Boston College Law Review
Volume 55, Issue 5 (November 2014)
pages 1563-1611

Christopher R. Leslie, Chancellor’s Professor of Law
University of California, Irvine

In 1967, in Loving v. Virginia, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously struck down miscegenation statutes, which criminalized interracial marriage, as unconstitutional. In 2013, the Court in United States v. Windsor invalidated Section 3 of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), which precluded federal agencies from recognizing marriages between same-sex couples even if the marriages were legally valid in the couples’ home state. While Loving was a unanimous decision, the Court in Windsor was closely divided. Almost half a century after Chief Justice Warren issued his unanimous Loving opinion, the Loving dissent has been written. Justice Alito authored it in Windsor. Justice Alito fashioned his dissent as upholding DOMA. But the rationales he employed were much more suited to the facts of Loving than the facts of Windsor. In this Article, Professor Leslie explains how each of Justice Alito’s reasons for upholding DOMA applies equally or more strongly to miscegenation laws at the time of the Loving opinion than to DOMA in 2013. There is simply no internally consistent way to defend DOMA with Justice Alito’s arguments without also upholding the constitutionality of miscegenation laws. Thus, Justice Alito not only authored a dissent for the Windsor case; he effectively wrote a dissent in Loving nearly 50 years after the case was decided. His reasoning would require the upholding of Virginia’s miscegenation statute. To the extent that the legal community now recognizes that the former anti-miscegenation regimes represent a shameful chapter of American history, the fact that the same arguments used to defend miscegenation laws are being invoked to justify bans on same-sex marriage suggests that such bans are inherently suspect and probably unconstitutional.

Read the entire article here.

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Race, Sex, and the Freedom to Marry: Loving v. Virginia

Posted in Books, History, Law, Media Archive, Monographs, United States, Virginia on 2014-11-09 17:36Z by Steven

Race, Sex, and the Freedom to Marry: Loving v. Virginia

University Press of Kansas
November 2014
296 pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/2
Cloth ISBN 978-0-7006-1999-3, $39.95(s)
Paper ISBN 978-0-7006-2000-5, $19.95(s)
Ebook ISBN 978-0-7006-2048-7

Peter Wallenstein, Professor of History
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

In 1958 Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving, two young lovers from Caroline County, Virginia, got married. Soon they were hauled out of their bedroom in the middle of the night and taken to jail. Their crime? Loving was white, Jeter was not, and in Virginia—as in twenty-three other states then—interracial marriage was illegal. Their experience reflected that of countless couples across America since colonial times. And in challenging the laws against their marriage, the Lovings closed the book on that very long chapter in the nation’s history. Race, Sex, and the Freedom to Marry tells the story of this couple and the case that forever changed the law of race and marriage in America.

The story of the Lovings and the case they took to the Supreme Court involved a community, an extended family, and in particular five main characters—the couple, two young attorneys, and a crusty local judge who twice presided over their case—as well as such key dimensions of political and cultural life as race, gender, religion, law, identity, and family. In Race, Sex, and the Freedom to Marry, Peter Wallenstein brings these characters and their legal travails to life, and situates them within the wider context—even at the center—of American history. Along the way, he untangles the arbitrary distinctions that long sorted out Americans by racial identity—distinctions that changed over time, varied across space, and could extend the reach of criminal law into the most remote community. In light of the related legal arguments and historical development, moreover, Wallenstein compares interracial and same-sex marriage.

A fair amount is known about the saga of the Lovings and the historic court decision that permitted them to be married and remain free. And some of what is known, Wallenstein tells us, is actually true. A detailed, in-depth account of the case, as compelling for its legal and historical insights as for its human drama, this book at long last clarifies the events and the personalities that reconfigured race, marriage, and law in America.

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Loving v. Virginia in Historical Context

Posted in Articles, History, Law, United States on 2014-07-29 00:34Z by Steven

Loving v. Virginia in Historical Context

Crossing Borders, Bridging Generatons
Brooklyn Historical Society
June 2014

Renee Romano, Associate Professor of History
Oberlin College

Renee Romano teaches history at Oberlin College and she is the author of Race Mixing: Black-White Marriage in Postwar America (Harvard University Press, 2003), and co-editor of The Civil Rights Movement in American Memory (University of Georgia Press, 2006). Her new book, Racial Reckoning: Prosecuting America’s Civil Rights Murders (forthcoming from Harvard University Press in fall 2014) explores the contemporary prosecutions of civil rights era crimes.

On June 12, 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a groundbreaking decision in the aptly named case, Loving v. Virginia. Responding to a challenge to a Virginia law that barred interracial marriages, the Supreme Court ruled that state laws that made it illegal for whites and nonwhites to marry were unconstitutional.

There can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the Equal Protection clause,” Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote in the unanimous decision.

With the stroke of a pen, the Supreme Court overturned centuries of common practice and its own legal precedent.

The colony of Virginia had enacted the first law punishing interracial marriage in 1691 in an attempt to prevent what it called the “abominable mixture and spurious issue” produced by unions between whites and nonwhites. Miscegenation laws proved vital for establishing racial boundaries and for constructing a racial hierarchy that placed whites above people of color. All but nine of the fifty states outlawed interracial marriage at some time in their history. These laws were not limited to the South—they existed at different historical moments in states ranging from Massachusetts to California, and they variously outlawed marriages between whites and those defined as black, Asian and American Indian. What they had in common was a shared intent in protecting the status of whites and communicating the subordinate position of nonwhite groups…

Read the entire article here.

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